KC Currents
10:46 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Spelling Bee Sisters, Streetcar Update, Blues Singer Cassie Taylor

The show for June 2, 2013. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

Council Funds Phase II Streetcar Study

The Kansas City city council approved funds to study seven potential extensions to a downtown streetcar service.  Of course, that 2-mile downtown starter line doesn’t exist yet. Council members were hoping ground would be broken this summer.  We check in on the status of the project with Lynn Horsley, the City Hall reporter for The Kansas City Star.

Vanya Shivashankar, right, talks with older sister Kavya after the final round of the 2013 Scripps national Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., on May 30. Kavya, who helped coach Vanya for this year's competition, won the Bee in 2009.
Credit Credit Mark Bowen / Scripps National Spelling Bee

Olathe 11-Year-Old Continues Family’s Spelling Dynasty In Washington, D.C.

The 86th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee came to close Thursday evening. It was televised live on ESPN, and Olathe’s very own Vanya Shivashankar tied for fifth place in the nation. Although she’s only 11, this was Vanya’s third time competing at the national level.  And she’s been attending bees since she was four; in 2009 her older sister, Kavya was the national champion.'

Blues Musician Cassie Taylor Settles Down In Kansas City

For the past decade, blues singer and bassist Cassie Taylor has made her home on the road. At age 16, she started touring with her father, bluesman Otis Taylor. She started her own solo career a few years after that. While Taylor has no plans to slow down, the 26-year-old veteran is settling down a bit. She recently got married and moved to Kansas City. Hear Taylor talk about some of the true-life stories of the blues life, and love lost and found, the subjects of her new CD, Out of My Mind.

Refugees Find Home On The Farm Midwestern cities have a long history of resettling refugees. Cities typically have the resources to help families adjust, including English classes and public transportation. But the fertile land here calls to those refugees who farmed in their home countries. Across the region, several training farms have developed to help these new Americans grow food and businesses. 

Art Enthusiasts Catch Sneak Peak Of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera Exhibit

The Nelson-Atkins Museum opened an exhibit highlighting the work of prolific Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. They were each famous in their own right, but their tumultuous marriage and ties to Communism spilled over into their art. Their work is just a part of the art collection of Jacques and Natasha Gelman. They were an Eastern European immigrant couple who became Mexican citizens.  It’s the first time their collection has made its way to our region for the first time. Listen to a handful of visitors who took in an early viewing of the Mexican art exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

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